Monday 1 April

I awoke this morning and saw on the news that the temperature had dropped to 66f. Could this possibly be an April Fool? I was content that I had some errands to make and time to complete this log so the weather did not bother me too much.

On Thursday 21 March I took my kayak out for the first time in a while. Having launched from Dunedin Causeway I managed to get to Caladesi Island and do a bit of a tour. The tide had clearly caught out one boatman who was grounded at 7pm as the sun was setting. He would not be able to get off the sandbank until perhaps 3am if he was lucky!

I enjoyed it so much that I did the same trip the following day.

During the week I had learned that The Lawns in Cottingham, the halls of residence where I spent 4 wonderful years as a student at Hull University was to close. Why? Because the dear students these days want to live on campus in modern accommodation. I despair for the employees of bus companies, for the village which gained so much employment and income from the student presence. But most of all I despair for the students who seem happy to cocoon themselves away from the local community.

My first task on Tuesday was to make some final tweaks to ‘A Place we can turn to’. I had written this initially in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the Church. I had searched for a text which I thought might sit on the lips of survivors as well as the lips of lay and ordained catholics who were shocked by the scandals. Kathy Galloway had sent me oodles of material months ago and among this I had found a hymn text by Rev Jan Berry. Strangely our paths had crossed as she was Chaplain for Sheffield Hallam University for a while before moving to Manchester. Strangely she had written the text to celebrate joining the community of Holy Rood House in Thirsk where I and many others had started our journey with the Iona Community. Prior to submitting it for scrutiny at the Liturgical Composers’ Forum in January I had shared it with fellow composers Christian Cosas and Bob Moore. After the Forum Marty Haugen, Bernadette Farrell and Paul Inwood gave me further insights and encouragement. I submitted it to publishers and will wait for the rejection letter!

I had my first meeting with my new line manager. He was interested in my weekly tasks. I think he was surprised by the level of preparation of materials so that the various musical forces could come to rehearsals prepared!

After Wednesday’s School Mass I had to rush home as I had a service engineer visiting to check out the air conditioning. I had only had them put in a few months ago so I didn’t expect anything to be wrong. I suspect that they do this ‘free’ visit for 2.5 hours to prove that a regular maintenance contract is desireable. Well it isn’t. There is very little that can go wrong and the $300 is better in my pocket. Thank you!

I returned to work for a 4pm meeting about Holy Week. As predicted we didn’t get as far as the Easter Vigil so I have another lovely meeting some time in the future.

On Thursday I completely overslept. This was probably a good thing as I awoke not feeling 100%. A Day off did the trick and I was able to catch up with work on the Friday.

Saturday 30 March I was in work relatively early as I had to play for a first penance service at 10am. Fortunately this did not last long and I was free to return to the office at 10:20.

I managed to get the folders completed for the 7pm Mass as well as the School Mass menus for April. The site was busy as there was a retreat day for 140 young adults and a retreat for catechumens. I joined the latter for lunch and then returned to my post.

Sunday followed the usual pattern except that during the afternoon I visited the beach before returning for the evening Mass.

Monday 1 April was a day off. I spent the morning sorting out documents for my tax return and then drove off to inspect some mats which I thought might be suitable for the kitchen area. I bought all three and then headed for my second stop where I hoped to solve a problem with a monitor I had bought a week or so ago. It turned out to be the plug which was at fault. My third stop was my tax adviser where I handed over the documents I had gathered earlier and vowed to supply further docs which would allow him to complete the process.

I spent the afternoon setting up the laptop with the docking station and monitor and then lounged in front of the TV where the drama of Brexit was playing out yet again!

I continue to lose weight and am now at 223.8lbs (252 at end of January. However I go to bed with a heavy heart weighed down by Brexit. As Ken Clarke said ‘our politicians need to be more political!’

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